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Old 09-07-2015, 12:33   #1
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Propane-Refill for european bottles in FL

Hi there,

We just arrived in Florida (North Palm Beach) with empty propane-bottles. Does anyone know a place where we could refill them? Here is the problem: we got european bottles and dont have an adaptor. But a rental car to drive to a refillstation that has one.

Thanks for your help!

John
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Old 09-07-2015, 14:01   #2
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Re: Propane-Refill for european bottles in FL

Sorry, but you'll likely have to get a piece of copper pipe and cut your propane line, then splice in a US type regulator, then buy a US tank. Your insurance won't love you for it, but since your system is likely metric, you'll not have much luck finding fittings to do a proper conversion.

You wouldn't have any luck in Canada with your particular problem either.

We sailed the Atlantic coast of Europe in 2007/2008 and had to use copper pipe to "convert" our Canadian (same as US) system to use Camping Gaz bottles.

Cheers, and good luck.
Paul.
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Old 09-07-2015, 14:38   #3
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Re: Propane-Refill for european bottles in FL

You could look for a gas tank testing station. They can install new valves on your tanks to suit the local connections. Then you will need to make up adapters between your boats system or bettet still swap out the regulator for a local one. Rember to keep your stuff that was swapped out for the next country you visit or for your return home.

Arm yourself with a copy of the local standards for gas cylinders as this usually states the approval markings on your tanks comply with the local standards.

The problems I have had refilling my tanks I could write a book about. We, in Aus and NZ find it difficult to find a filling station as most refill stations have gone over to Swap and Go. I had to make an adapter to refill my bottles from a swap bottle. Which I guess for you is another option. Who knows ehat the legalities of all this is. So I never ask the question since I may not like the answer.

Wayne
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Old 09-07-2015, 14:52   #4
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Re: Propane-Refill for european bottles in FL

For about $100, you can get an adapter which attached directly to your tanks which will allow you to fill using the US Style Regulator. This method offers the benefit of returning to a Euro-Spec regulator by simply removing the valve.


Trident Marine 'Camping Gaz' Adaptor Model#1195-1615

http://www.amazon.com/Trident-Marine...SA9GBM7SKMKBDD

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Old 09-07-2015, 15:04   #5
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Re: Propane-Refill for european bottles in FL

Assuming you will be in the states for a while, the easiest is to go buy a BBQ tank refill. They do trade in on the tanks pretty much everywhere (usually for $17-20) but you can also just buy the entire tank pre-filled (usually around $40). After that you can do the cheaper trade out for future refills.

With a local tank in hand, a propane shop should be able to get you a new fitting feeding into your system. Check RV (caravan) stores. The fitting/regulator shouldn't cost too much and shouldn't be too hard to swap out.
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Old 10-07-2015, 14:48   #6
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Re: Propane-Refill for european bottles in FL

I think there are other options to cutting your propane lines or doing major modifications to your system. The options I see as easiest (and safe)

NOTE: Do not forget that propane is explosive and can be highly dangerous. Do not do any filling on the boat, make sure there are no flames, sparks or any other source of ignition in the area when working with propane.

1. Buy a hose and connector that screws into a US propane cylinder. If you have spare connectors for your EU tanks you can make an adapter hose with US tank connector on one end and EU tank connector on the other end. Buy/rent a full US tank, connect to your tank and let the gas from the US fill your EU cylinder.

2. I think it will be unlikely that the average US propane facility would have any European fitting to make an adapter for your system but you might get lucky. If you cannot find an adapter that allows connecting US cylinder to your EU lines then the only option is to cut the lines and splice in a US connector.

3. The easiest would be to buy the Camping Gaz adapter but you might have to order that and wait for delivery.
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Old 10-07-2015, 15:09   #7
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Re: Propane-Refill for european bottles in FL

You need to invert the FULL tank to get the liquid out, and the new nanny-gummint tanks have tip-over valves that shut off the flow unless they're right side up.
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Old 10-07-2015, 15:25   #8
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Re: Propane-Refill for european bottles in FL

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Originally Posted by Bill Seal View Post
You need to invert the FULL tank to get the liquid out, and the new nanny-gummint tanks have tip-over valves that shut off the flow unless they're right side up.
Exactly so you will lost a LOT in the transfer.
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Old 10-07-2015, 16:05   #9
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Re: Propane-Refill for european bottles in FL

The new valves do not stop the flow if the tank is upside down. They shut off the flow when the tanks are upright and have reached the maximum fill level.

There is no problem getting propane to come out of an upside down tank. It will come out as a liquid instead of a gas.

That is actually what you want if you're filling one tank from another.
The problem is that unless you vent gas from the receiving tank as the liquid propane goes in, you won't be able to get it full. The other way to do it is to chill the receiving tank so that the liquid propane going into it doesn't boil so fast. You've got to keep the pressure in the receiving tank lower than the donor tank or the flow will stop.
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Old 10-07-2015, 17:24   #10
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Re: Propane-Refill for european bottles in FL

Thank you HopCar. You beat me to it. If you DO get some gas into the receiving tank, you can then vent it out quickly which will chill the receiving tank down, but it's best if the receiving tank is already very cold. I do this all the time (well, actually every 8-9 months) when I recharge my CO2 tanks, for the Sodastream, from a larger tank. It's all about transferring liquid propane, not vaporized gas.
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Old 10-07-2015, 21:25   #11
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Re: Propane-Refill for european bottles in FL

Quote:
Originally Posted by svquintana View Post
Sorry, but you'll likely have to get a piece of copper pipe and cut your propane line, then splice in a US type regulator, then buy a US tank. Your insurance won't love you for it, but since your system is likely metric, you'll not have much luck finding fittings to do a proper conversion.

You wouldn't have any luck in Canada with your particular problem either.

We sailed the Atlantic coast of Europe in 2007/2008 and had to use copper pipe to "convert" our Canadian (same as US) system to use Camping Gaz bottles.

Cheers, and good luck.
Paul.

Not entirely true. There are adapters. I bought them for US conversion to Europe.

Your problem may be that your European tanks do not have an anti-overfill device now required on vertical tanks less than 5 gallons. They will not be refilled without this feature unless your tanks are designated horizontal use. You could buy the US refillable/swap tank & the same US to Europe adapters. Others have bought two hoses with both required ends - cut the hoses and use a barb & clamps to make an adapter hose.
There are discussions on this that you can find on Google.
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